Director JJ Abrams and Mark Hamill have left Portmagee in Kerry after completing filming on Skellig Michael for a scene which will reportedly last one minute in Star Wars: Episode VII.

Just after his departure this morning (July 31), Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the beloved space opera, tweeted his appreciation, saying: "Ireland you are wonderful! Love the country, love the people!" 

Abrams, who has been staying in the Butler Arms Hotel in nearby Waterville, completed three days of filming for the new movie, ducking both a media circus and criticism from some quarters about the use of the World Heritage Site which towers 12km off the coast of Kerry.

During the shoot, the Irish Navy operated an exclusion zone around Skeillig Michael to ward off any particularly fervent Star Wars fans and locals were sworn to secrecy.

Mark Hamill was accompanied by his wife Marilou and their three adult children, Nathan, Chelsea and Griffin during the Kerry shoot.